Whether or not you believe in fate, I think we can all agree that Rubie & Ben make a good case for its existence. In fact, fate wouldn’t leave these two alone. It threw them together in chance meeting after chance meeting, insisting that these two lovebirds were meant to be.
Their beach-themed, Miami destination wedding was an absolute dream. Who could ask for more than to get married, barefoot, sand between toes, in idyllic surroundings? And it was very much a family affair, with everyone offering their help. From wedding-planning siblings and parents, to hair-styling sisters, Rubie and Ben’s loved ones certainly did not let them down.
Sit back, and soak in the sun, sea and sand, as well as the stunning details, such as the beachy driftwood Chuppah overlooking the sea and the stunning seaside-inspired buttercream cake, all captured with dedication by photographer, Paul Toeman.
Breathtaking bride, Rubie, looked a vision in her timeless gown by STG Recommended Vendor, Sassi Holford. And speaking of the STG family, the couple flew in two more of our amazing Recommended Vendors. Wedding band, Totem, and the tear-jerking wedding trailer you absolutely must watch (below) is by Denee Motion.
How we met
Rubie, the bride: We met aged 17 at the final of a school business competition, nine years ago. We came from two very different worlds, and kept bumping into each other: first at the school competition where we didn’t even get each other’s names, then at an open day lecture at Leeds University, again not exchanging names and then, finally, I ran into ben in a crowd of 250,000 people at Reading music festival later that summer. After the third fateful meeting, we decided we should exchange names and have our first date: a cup of tomato soup from the Salvation Army tent… and the rest is history!
Getting married with sand between our toes
We got married on Thursday 12th May 2016 at The National Hotel in South Beach, Miami. Ben and I travel to Miami once a year as Ben has a lot of family in the states who we visit over the holiday period in December.
Being together for nine years, and having made these visits every year, we felt Miami was a really special place for us with some lovely memories, so we decided to get married out there to make more memories and show our family and friends the place we love. We are both beach and sea people, and being keen scuba divers, we couldn’t imagine any where better to get married than next to the ocean with sand between our toes!
We chose The National hotel for a few reasons: The Art Deco theme and architecture of the hotel blew us away; we knew the relaxed, no-frills culture and ambience of the hotel would instantly put us and our guests at ease; the staff were fantastic and made us feel special from the get go. Oh, and we could have our actual wedding on the beach.
Shades of blue
We didn’t use a wedding planner. We had the combined help of Ben’s sister, who is a wedding planner by trade, very organised parents and an on-the-day wedding coordinator from the National who brought our vision and planning together.
We didn’t have a theme exactly, but we incorporated a lot of blues (bright cobalt and light dusty blue in particular) and also a lot of shell, sand and beach designs. Our centre pieces, for instance, were candles in a glass case with sand and sea corals in bright orange and cobalt blue cut glass.
We had a wedding designer, Ines Naftali, who did an incredible job of creating these masterpieces, from the centerpieces to the Chuppah, candles and the bouquets.
Keeping it in the family
My hairdresser was my sister, Mollie, was works at Toniq hairdressers in Ware, Hertfordshire. Regardless of the fact that she’s my sister, she is the most fantastically creative and calm hairdresser, and being my sister made it even more special on the day!
A timeless Sassi Holford gown
I got my dress from The Bride in St Albans. Polly and her team there were brilliant; they were highly organized, and made me feel instantly at ease.
The dress I chose was a figure-hugging, strapless fishtail dress Sassi Holford dress called Jessica.
I also wore a Jenny Packham blue opaline ivory belt to compliment the very simple dress design I had chosen. I also picked it so the blue of the belt tied in nicely with the ocean/beach theme, and the dusty light blue bridesmaid dresses.
I had a one-tier veil, and used gypsophila for my hair and my bridesmaids’ hair.
A barefoot ceremony
I wore some Kurt Geiger shoes for the cocktail hour, but our wedding was all about the bare feet! No shoes for us or our guests at the Chuppah, and mine came straight off again to enjoy the dancing!
The handsome groom
Ben wore a dusty light blue linen suit from Moss Bros, and a white linen Massimo Dutti shirt. The boutonnià¨re was a white calla lily with a green left backing, wrapped in raffia string. And bare feet, of course!
Bridesmaids in blue
I had five bridesmaids: my sisters, Mollie and Phoebe, my sister-in-law, Laura, and friends Hannah and Stevie. They all wore dresses in a light blue, but chose the style to suit their figures the most. They all wore matching Magnolia Jewellery, blue hamsa hand necklaces (a gift from me and Ben). They all had their hair up and wore gypsophila in their hair, as well as having gypsophila bouquets.
A beachy, driftwood Chuppah
We wanted it to be rustic in the base, so we used birch and driftwood for the structure, as we wanted it to be like it had just washed up.
Keeping it simple, we had white material draped loosely around the structure, and then flowers in cobalt blue and white featured on the corners of the Chuppah, with shell and coral detail cascading down the wooden pillars.
A Miami Dolphins Ketubah
Our Ketubah was modern, from a really cool website, This Is Not A Ketubah.
They are an American company, and we chose them because we really wanted our Ketubah to be a constant reminder of our amazing wedding location, so we chose the Miami Dolphin-themed Ketubah. It was also perfectly tailored to our beliefs about how we wanted to live our married lives, and was written in both Hebrew and English, in line with our reform beliefs.
Processional: Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran (we asked our fabulous singer, Brett Warren, to sing Miami Sea instead!) The words just really resonated with what we hoped that moment would be like
Our first dance was to Your Song, by Elton John.
The song means a lot to us because of the words, but also because of Ben’s shared love of Watford Football Club with Sir Elton John, he is a huge hero of his having been chairman of the club while Ben was growing up, we even wrote to him to ask him to come and perform it for us but he couldn’t make it on the day!
Our fabulous photographer…
Paul Toeman came highly recommended by friends and family, and we certainly were not disappointed. Thanks to Paul, we have the most incredible memories the look at every day. Paul was the most committed photographer EVER. We did a post-wedding shoot the day after the wedding and Paul was taking photos from the sea with the waves coming up to his chest!
We also had videographer, Denis from Denee Motion.
Denis captured every intimate moment, often without us even realising, and pieced our wedding together in the most awesome video the trailer, which we still can’t stop watching, almost a year later!
Denis and Paul, although from two different companies, worked so well together, bouncing innovative ideas off one another – it was seamless.
A beach-themed cake
Our cake was made by Elegant Temptations in Hialeah. We chose vanilla sponge with Godiva chocolate buttercream. The cake had vanilla buttercream icing on the outside, with a rustic horizontal lines texturem and clusters of shells and starfish made from cream icing cascading down the cake.
To match the theme, we ordered our cake topper from Etsy: two beach chairs with starfish on them, one with a veil and one a top hat!
Our music was fantastic, overall. We chose to use Totem from the UK because we had witnessed their fantastic work first hand at other events. Brett Warren directed our music, with help from Moni Tivony, who as well as helping us party the night away also acted as our Chazan at the Chuppah, and whose voice brought the whole wedding party to tears!
Brett, Warren and Moni Tivony were a fabulous combination. Brett sang a beautiful soul set, and Moni was out Chazan turned rapper, with a UK garage set that got all of our guests involved.
We also made use of the location by all jumping in the pool at 12 and continuing the party in the pool into the early hours!
As our wedding was across a week, we organised group events to allow all our family and friends to get to know each other. In groups of 50 plus, we went on a tour of the Everglades and canoeing in the mangroves in the intracoastal waters. These events, along with the rehearsal dinner at the Mandarin Oriental, meant that our guests really knew each other by the time the wedding arrived, making the party better than we could have ever hoped for!
Handmade table numbers
Our table numbers were actually photos of us through the years, and our guests only knew their table by finding their name which had been stuck on a matching mini version of the photo on the table. These were all made by hand by Ben’s amazingly arty mum!
A Jason Derulo-inspired speech
Ben’s speech was incredible, it was inspired by Jason Derulo, a Miamian! Ben used his songs to describe our relationship. The video of his speech went viral, with online magazines picking it up and Jason himself retweeting the video and offering us free tickets to his gig!
That was so lit??? congrats bro!!! For sure…. DM me for those tix! https://t.co/LWGx7y40CL
– Jason Derulo (@jasonderulo) 7 luglio 2016
Advice to brides and shoes currently planning their wedding
Have a destination wedding, and don’t wear shoes!
Don’t sacrifice your dream wedding for anyone! It really is all about the two of you!
The stress is worth it!
Rubie & Ben’s little white book
Videographer – Denee Motion
Photographer – Paul Toeman
Venue – The National Hotel
Wedding designer – Ines Naftali
Bride’s dress – Sassi Holford and Jenny Packham purchased at The Bride
Groom’s attire – Moss Bros and Massimo Dutti
Bridesmaids – Magnolia Jewellery
Hair – Toniq
Band – Totem
Cake – Elegant Temptations
Cake topper – Etsy
Rehearsal dinner – Mandarin Oriental